Can you use evaporated milk for coffee creamer?

Many people take milk in their coffee. Adding milk to coffee is perfectly normal. Cappuccino, latte macchiato, and flat white are all examples of milk-based coffee drinks. But adding milk or coffee creamer to a black cup of coffee is also a common practice. 

When you run out of milk or coffee creamer, and you somehow have a can of evaporated milk on hand, you might wonder: can I use evaporated milk as coffee creamer? The answer would be: Yes, you can use evaporated milk in coffee. But because evaporated milk is creamier and thicker than regular milk or coffee creamer, you probably need less of it. Start with half the amount you would typically use, and add to taste.

Read on to find out more about evaporated milk, its sweetened cousin condensed milk, and how to use them both in coffee.

Milk being added to coffee

What is evaporated milk?

Evaporated milk is a form of concentrated milk. About 60 percent of the water in whole milk is removed. The milk is heated (boiled) until water starts to evaporate. When it has reduced enough due to the evaporation of water, the liquid is homogenized, sterilized, and then, of course, canned. Evaporated milk keeps for 6 to 12 months, but be sure to check the ‘best before’ date on the label.

Evaporated milk is more dense and creamy than regular milk. Due to the high heat that is applied during the evaporation process, the sugars (lactose) in the milk caramelize a bit, making it a bit darker. The result is not only a more creamy mouthfeel than regular milk, but it is also a bit sweeter.

What is the difference between evaporated milk and condensed milk?

Evaporated milk and condensed milk are very similar. Both are whole milk that has been reduced to about 40 percent of the original volume. The main difference between the two is that condensed milk is sweetened after it has been reduced. 

On the package, it will usually say “sweetened” condensed milk. There is no unsweetened condensed milk. That is evaporated milk. Condensed milk typically has a sugar content of 40 percent to 45 percent.  So yeah, it is super sweet.

Can you use evaporated milk instead of coffee creamer?

Yes, no problem. You shouldn’t put in the same amount as you would typically do. Evaporated milk is much more condensed and creamier than regular coffee creamer. My suggestion is to start with half the amount you would usually use and then add to taste.

Because evaporated milk is unsweetened, you’ll need to add sugar of you take sugar in your coffee. But again, you might not need as much as you normally would. The heat that is applied to the milk for condensation caramelized the milk slightly, making it a bit sweeter than regular coffee creamer. My suggestion is the same as for adding the evaporated milk. Start with half the amount you would usually add, then add to taste.


Can you use condensed milk instead of coffee creamer?

Yes, no problem. But you have to realize that condensed milk is sweeter. If you usually don’t take sugar in your coffee, I would not use condensed milk. It will be really sweet. 

If you usually do take sugar in your coffee, then you should taste it before adding any more sugar. It will probably be sweet enough. 

What is coffee creamer or half and half made of?

Coffee creamer, or half and half as it is mostly known in the United States, is a light type of cream used in coffee. It is usually a mixture of cream and milk with a percentage of milk fat ranging between 12 percent and 18 percent. Regular (heavy) cream has a milk fat percentage of more than 35 percent. Regular whole milk has a milk fat percentage of a little over 3 percent.

There are non-dairy coffee creamers on the market that don’t contain any dairy, hence the name. These are also known as “coffee whitener” and come in liquid or powdered form. Non-dairy creamers are often made from vegetable-based fats (just like margarine).

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